–Imran says healthcare system to be burdened by end of April as virus cases surge
–Says every province will decide about lockdown according to situation on April 14
–Govt making efforts to provide protective gear, equipment to all doctors, paramedical staff
QUETTA: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said that whole world is currently facing an unprecedented crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic and Pakistan’s health facilities too would be burdened by the end of April, however, the entire nation will fight this disease with unity and determination.
Talking to the Balochistan cabinet and members of parliament during his day-long visit to Quetta, he said that government is working round the clock to provide protective gear to doctors and paramedical staff and all necessary equipment has already been provided to those working at intensive care units.
He said that there is a global shortage of ventilators and testing kits and the government is utilising all its resources to import them on emergency basis.
The prime minister said that the National Command and Control Centre (NCCC) for COVID-19 is in constant contact with all the chief ministers for effective coordination to control the spread of the virus.
PM Imran’s visit comes as the number of confirmed cases in the country rose to nearly 4,500. Punjab has been the worst-affected province with over 2,200 recorded cases, while Sindh has more than 1,100.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has reported 560 cases while Balochistan has recorded 219. In Islamabad, more than 102 cases have been detected while Gilgit-Baltistan has 213. Azad Jammu and Kashmir has 33 coronavirus cases.
At least 65 people have died of the COVID-19, with 21 in Sindh, 20 in KP, 17 in Punjab, three in GB, two in Balochistan, and one in Islamabad. Some 572 people have recovered from the deadly virus so far.
VIRUS TO HIT BIG CITIES MORE:
Noting that there is no patient in intensive care in Balochistan, he said that owing to its scattered population, the virus would have a less impact in the province, however, Quetta remains at risk because of its population. On the other hand, he said, the virus would have a greater impact in cities like Karachi, Lahore and Faisalabad.
The premier said that the complete lockdown in Balochistan was badly affecting the province’s low-income groups as a number of people already lived under the poverty line. He added that every province would decide about the lockdown according to its situation on April 14.
Earlier, during his day-long visit, PM Imran visited the quarantine centre at Bolan Medical College Hospital in Quetta. He was accompanied by Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan, National Assembly (NA) Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri and Yar Muhammad Rind.
The provincial chief secretary briefed the prime minister about the isolation ward and quarantine centre. The premier was also informed about the current situation in the province and the steps being taken by the provincial government to contain the spread of the virus.
Balochistan Governor Justice (r) Aman Ullah Khan also met PM Imran during his visit.